Giving Credit Where It’s Due

Veterans of the armed services often take off their uniforms and attempt to step into civilian life with the knowledge they have learned valuable skills while in the military. Then they try to cash in on their talents and experience – and find doing so sometimes is not easy.

That can be especially frustrating for those who choose to go to college. Credit they should get for skills and experience in the military can be difficult to obtain.

A bill passed by the Ohio House of Representatives would ease that situation for many veterans. It is designed to provide more uniform standards for how public colleges and universities award credit for military training and experience. It would do the same thing for state occupational certification and licensing agencies.

Many states already have similar programs. Forty-five states already have laws that require licensing boards to take into account military experience in everything from truck driving to health care.

One might think allowing an incoming college freshman credit for, say, introductory anatomy would be common sense if the new student has served as a medic in the Army. But that sometimes is not so. The Ohio Board of Regents checked public colleges and universities and found their policies on providing credit for military training and experience are inconsistent. The same inconsistency was noted among agencies approving occupational certificates and licenses.

Veterans are not asking for any breaks. They merely want credit of the type many institutions already award civilians for “career skills” or “life experience.” They want what they already know to be recognized.

State senators should follow the House lead and approve the bill. Then Gov. John Kasich should sign it into law.

Ohioans owe veterans of military service much. A fair shake at public colleges and universities should be viewed as repaying part of that debt.